Ichetucknee River Paddle-October 27, 2012


Sometimes small can be special.  On October 27, Andrew and I spent a beautiful day enjoying the outdoors.  Our first stop was the champion live oak at Cellon Oak Park on Route 121 about 10 miles north of town.  While I have lived in Florida for 40 years, I did not know about this masterpiece until about a month ago.   As you can see from the photos below, this tree is a wonder.

     

 

The next stop was Alachua Sink, which is adjacent to Route 441, where Sonny’s BBQ resides in Alachua.  This sink is 190 feet deep and was a feature in Wes Skiles’ documentary “Water’s Journey.”  The classic scene, where the geekie physics guy is walking through the salad bar while Tom Morris is SCUBA diving 190 feet below, is unforgettable.

 

      

The Ichetucknee River and springs were absolutely beautiful.   We had blue sky, beautiful weather, and the river almost to ourselves.  We saw lots of mullet, turtles, and birds along the way.

   

A few days later Andrew provided this description of his own outing.

Yesterday while walking through Paynes Prairie State Park I saw a bunch of gators up close and personal, basking in the sun. Some of them were practically on the hiking trail, just a few feet from me. Then when I rode my bike home there was a huge rattler sprawled across the bike trail, sunning himself and absorbing heat from the asphalt below. He was nearly five feet long with an impressive girth. I stopped to admire him. He’d picked a bad spot to sun himself, and I worried that another bike rider might run him over. So, for his own good, I grabbed a long branch and shoved him off the trail. HE DIDN’T LIKE THAT. As I was shoving him, he coiled up and started shaking the rattle on the end of his tail like crazy. He was ready to bare his fangs and strike whoever came near! He kept on rattling loudly just to warn people to keep their distance. I obliged. Several other bike riders stopped to see and hear the coiled, rattling creature. I explained to them that I was the one who riled him up.

Post and photos by Dave Wilson